Award Banner
Award Banner

Installation for ERP 2.0 'complex', to take longer due to more options: Chee Hong Tat

Installation for ERP 2.0 'complex', to take longer due to more options: Chee Hong Tat
Minister for Transport Chee Hong Tat addressed questions about ERP 2.0 at Parliament on Wednesday (May 8).
PHOTO: Screengrab/YouTube/MCI, AsiaOne/Danial Zahrin

The installation process for ERP 2.0 on-board units (OBUs) has become more complex due to the more options being available to drivers, Minister for Transport Chee Hong Tat explained in Parliament on Wednesday (May 8).

"By providing more choices, the process becomes more complex, and the workshops will require more time to complete the installation," he said.

"However, we think the trade-off is necessary, to allow vehicle owners to have the flexibility to customise their preferred options, and not have a 'one-size fits all' approach."

Generally, it will take around two hours to install the OBU for most motorcycles, and four hours for all other vehicles, but a longer time may be needed for some, according to LTA's OneMotoring website.

Responding to questions by Sembawang GRC Member of Parliament Lim Wee Kiak, Chee further elaborated on the difficulty of catering to the needs of individual drivers per their vehicles and choices.

Depending on the design and layout specifications of the vehicles, the preferred or ideal location for the OBU can vary, he said.

The trade-off for giving more choices to vehicle owners, he added, is that this introduces more complexity to the installation process.

"But we think this trade-off is important because we do need to respect the individual choices of vehicle owners," Chee affirmed.

In particular, Chee addressed the placement of the processing unit at the driver's footwell, which he said may not be available to all drivers.

He also said that this decision is best discussed with LTA service ambassadors and workshop mechanics so that drivers can comprehend the options available to them before the installation.

At present, motorists will be able to choose their preferred location for the processing unit.

Some locations so far include the passenger footwell, under the glove compartment and under the driver's seat.

Greenhouse effect in cars

Lim also asked Chee about the feasibility of having the OBU as a single, one-piece unit in cars, just as is being done for motorcycles.

Citing a report and experiment done by AsiaOne recently, Chee explained that the enclosed environment of the car, plus the glass windscreen, creates a greenhouse effect within the vehicle.

While the motorcycle - which has no enclosed space - goes up to about 35 degrees Celsius, the footwell of a car can go up to about 38 to 39 degrees Celsius, according to the experiment.

On the dashboard, the temperature goes up to a whopping 50 to 52 degrees Celsius - so hot that AsiaOne's cameras began to overheat and the team had to stop recording. 

'Continuous process of improvement'

Chee admitted to being an early adopter of the OBU, sharing that he had it installed in his own vehicle as well.

"Like many of the early adopters, I also experienced some concern about not being able to reach the card conveniently if I had to use complimentary parking tickets.

"That's why I was very happy when LTA developed that feature where I could just 'deactivate' the card by pressing a button on the touchscreen display... I do not need to take my card [out and slot it back in]," he said, adding that LTA's recommendation is to use the touchscreen display - although the choice remains for individual drivers to decide.

As feedback continues to flow in from early adopters, there is a "continuous process of improvement", Chee added.

According to the minister, LTA has already reviewed and made several improvements to the ERP 2.0 features and installation process to provide motorists with enhanced choice, convenience and safety. 

Aside from the card 'deactivation' button, other improvements include expanding options for processing unit installation on the driver's side and enhancing user safety.

"Early adopters have shared with LTA that they find the notifications for bus lanes, silver zones and school zones useful, as these increase their situational awareness and improve road safety.

"We are working with partners to expand the list," Chee said.

He reiterated that the transition from the current in-vehicle unit to the OBU is a major exercise involving many motorists and a diverse range of vehicle makes and models. And that this process will take a few years to complete.

The three-piece OBU is part of the government's efforts to replace the existing ERP system, which has been in use for over 25 years and is approaching the end of its operational lifespan.

The installation of the OBU began with a group of early adopters in August 2023, and so far, more than 18,000 vehicles have installed it, said LTA.

All new vehicles registered from May 1 will come with the OBU already installed.

The exercise is expected to be concluded by the end of 2025, reported The Straits Times. 

ALSO READ: 'OBU's power draw is comparable to an in-car camera': LTA clarifies misconceptions about ERP 2.0 unit

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.